Crowdfunding is a method for raising money on a platform or a personal website that allows people to contribute any amount of money to support something they like, enjoy or see as necessary. Because of the flexibility it offers fundraisers, crowdfunding is more popular than ever, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away. Businesses, individuals, non-profits and research institutions use this technique for raising the money necessary to fund their projects, services and other needs. Anyone can start a fundraiser through crowdfunding, but it’s important to be mindful of the steps you take. Doing it correctly the first time around is how successful funding is achieved. Follow the five steps below to start your successful campaign today.
1. Find Your Story
Storytelling is a critical step for any successful campaign. Kickstarter campaigns always have a compelling story, and Kickstarter is a good place to see how others do it. Creating a narrative for why you need the money and why your crowdfunding campaign is worth a donation begins with asking yourself a few questions. You should write down the reasons you are seeking the money, and then think about who your project or service will impact. Depending on your industry, this can vary quite a bit, and that’s okay.
It’s important to make potential donors feel secure and confident about donating to your fund. Sharing your story shows funders that you’ve put thought and care into what you’re doing. Your job is to demonstrate that this won’t be a flop and a waste of money. If you’re not skilled at storytelling, find someone who can help you craft a story for your project. Don’t think about anything else until you’ve crafted a narrative that strongly conveys your mission.
2. Choose Great Perks
Choosing the perks someone could receive for their contribution can be a challenge. Depending on what you’re trying to fund, this could be anything from the actual product you want to create, to a service that you’re building. While Indiegogo and similar platforms do require something tangible for reward tiers, there are plenty of creative ways to implement perks no matter what you’re funding.
Being realistic about the perks you’re offering is also important. There’s few things more challenging than working your way out of the unexpected inability to fulfill tier rewards. If you’re offering something too valuable for the reward tier, you might lose money. You have to decide if it’s worth it to lose money or simply not offer that kind of reward. If you have a tenuous deadline for the finished product or service, communicate that to your funding audience. People are often happy as long as they are receiving regular communication from your platform. Costs associated with choosing great perks shouldn’t be forgotten. Keeping it realistic is the best policy.
3. Create Your Campaign
Your campaign should use around three focuses to highlight what you’re seeking to fund. Emotional appeals seek to trigger potential funders with an emotional experience while reading your campaign and viewing it. Outlining specific levels of rewards is another possible focus. Your campaign can include comprehensive details, or it can highlight the strongest points. You might want to consider a relevant image or several images that relate to your funding campaign. Professional focus is an option too. Finding your beat will help you narrow down the attributes you want to focus on.
In the process of creating your campaign, you will be doing research on your crowdfunding target audience. This will help you shape your platform to best attract people and reach your funding goals and deadlines.
Looking at similar crowdfunding campaigns that have been successful can be useful. It’s also important to look at ones that have failed. Learn from their mistakes. Maybe their funding goals were too high or too low. Maybe they didn’t include quality images throughout their campaign. Take note.
4. Develop A Funding Goal
People are often surprised to find out that the funding goal isn’t the beginning of creating a successful crowdfunding campaign. Funding goals come into play near the end of a campaign creation. Your goal can also be updated later on down the road. Be realistic. It’s better to surpass your funding goal than it is to hit under the goal. Your funding needs will be created by doing research, knowing your projected costs, and choosing realistic mini goals.
Once your campaign is created, you start promoting it. You can preemptively reach out to blogs and websites that might share your project on their website, social media accounts or a service that will help you promote on several platforms. You will need to do much of the crowdfunding promotion yourself and by tapping into your network. Be confident in what you are raising money for, and your friends and family will share it.
Business connections may be willing to share your crowdfunding project, but this depends on the context. Sometimes people get lucky, and their project goes viral. Don’t expect this to happen, but aim for it to happen. Promote and work on your campaign as if it is a full-time job. Setting your marketing goals high can only benefit you. Leave no resource untapped. Reach out from every social-media platform, and create new accounts if needed.
You may also find that a live event could help you promote your crowdfunding campaign. Looking at examples of how other campaigns host live events can help you tailor yours to the needs of your project and funding goals. Pop-up events may be too expensive.
Finally, Follow Through
Follow through is what everyone looks for when they donate to a crowdfunding campaign. There are businesses that have failed to deliver the project that was being funded, and they suffered for that mistake. Some people choose to cut corners on quality to get a product to backers. You don’t want to be in the situation where you’re behind on deadline or learn that you can’t deliver at all. If you want to be successful, avoid this pitfall, and follow through on your goals and promises.
Don’t forget to plan ahead for shipping backer rewards!
Plenty of crowdfunding campaign runners overlook the complexities and costs involved with shipping backer rewards worldwide. It is therefore crucial that you plan well ahead, make sure you figure out how you are going to handle the shipping and make sure that the pledges include shipping costs. Many crowdfunding campaigns end up losing money because they forgot to include shipping costs in their offer and it goes without saying that that is not something you would want to happen to you.
Floship is a crowdfunding fulfillment provider, specialized in shipping backer rewards
worldwide. Large batch projects like this require expertise and capacity, Floship understands this. We help crowdfunding campaign owners prepare for success through a fulfillment checklist. Our Floship Certified Logistics Plan badge can be displayed on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo page, showing potential backers that you got your fulfillment figured out and they will indeed receive their rewards as promised. Over 50 brands displayed our badge and raised a whopping 588% more on average than campaigns without the FCLP badge. Want to learn more? Reach out to Floship through this form.
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Kevin Gardner graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from UCLA. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS where he helps companies integrate technology to improve performance. He shares his knowledge and expertise not only with his clients but with his fellow bloggers and readers.